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Earth to America

Earth to America

Old Nov 21st 2005, 5:37 pm
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Default Earth to America

Did anyone watch the 2 hour TV show last evening? I was so glad to see that AT LAST some right-minded people have found a voice about global warming.

Star performance for me was Tom Hanks, Steve Martin and Eric Idle playing bluegrass, and Eric Idles "Galaxy Song" - wonderful! Bill Maher and Jim Lovell's contributions were also spot on, I thought.

Join the virtual march on Washington if you haven't already done so !
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Old Nov 21st 2005, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Dimsie
Did anyone watch the 2 hour TV show last evening? I was so glad to see that AT LAST some right-minded people have found a voice about global warming.

Star performance for me was Tom Hanks, Steve Martin and Eric Idle playing bluegrass, and Eric Idles "Galaxy Song" - wonderful! Bill Maher and Jim Lovell's contributions were also spot on, I thought.

Join the virtual march on Washington if you haven't already done so !

nice idea - but it wont make any difference, america see's itself as above the need for caring about the planet, especially when it can just buy its way out of trouble!!

the problem is - most politicians only care about their term, as long as the planet wont die before they retire - why should they care??

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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

It's going to take more than upper class poseurs like Bill Maher and Tom Hanks to convince those of us who base our views on reason, rather than fashionable prejudice, that global warming is due to human activity.

There's plenty of science to back up both sides of the debate though for some reason the sceptics don't get as much media access. I've read hundreds of articles presenting both views (unlike most of those who are oh so sure human activity is to blame) and am more on the sceptical side - though still open to arguments from the doomsayers. What I'm sure of though is that Kyoto won't work and indeed Blair himself in recent weeks has pretty much accepted that. Most European countries are not taking it seriously either nor is the country I live in (Canada). But it's a useful issue for those seeking social validation from their moral grandstanding.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 9:55 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Whether its a possibility or known fact, I think we should be doing all we can to cut emissions and stop pumping crap into the atmosphere. Kyoto was a step in the right direction, and anything anyone can do to to publicise any problems is a good thing. If we are capable of treating the planet with a little respect, then why are we not doing it? Why is the Leader of the Civilised World not doing its bit? Not very christian of them, is it?!
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 10:38 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Flipper
It's going to take more than upper class poseurs like Bill Maher and Tom Hanks to convince those of us who base our views on reason, rather than fashionable prejudice, that global warming is due to human activity.

There's plenty of science to back up both sides of the debate though for some reason the sceptics don't get as much media access. I've read hundreds of articles presenting both views (unlike most of those who are oh so sure human activity is to blame) and am more on the sceptical side - though still open to arguments from the doomsayers. What I'm sure of though is that Kyoto won't work and indeed Blair himself in recent weeks has pretty much accepted that. Most European countries are not taking it seriously either nor is the country I live in (Canada). But it's a useful issue for those seeking social validation from their moral grandstanding.
If there is a debate about the causes of global warming/climate change and the cause is not 100% clear, then it would be advisable to do whatever is possible "just in case" - before it's too late.

Kyoto is not magic - it can't heal what is already damaged, but if it were universally accepted it might possible buy time. It's quite likely that in the near future REAL solutions could be found to enable us to manipulate weather, ice caps etc etc., as well as to find alternative power sources, through science and technology.

Being concerned for our environment and that of future generations is hardly "fashionable prejudice".

The American government, naturally will not agree to the Kyoto Protocol because there's no money to be made, and citizens might be asked to make a few minor sacrifices - not good for the next election!

You describe Tom Hanks and Bill Maher as "upper class poseurs". Rich, they may well be, upper class, I doubt very much, and poseurs I don't think so at all. They have the means to get attention, they are articulate, and in my view caring people.

We hold opposing view on this - I can but follow my own feelings on the matter.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

My 2 cents:

"Global warming" should read "climate change". The UK is expecting its worst weather for years this winter. Its been ridiculously mild the last few. It's becoming unpredictable. Look at the hurricane season this year.

As for the causes, I agree that we should be reducing emissions. But at the end of the day, if we want "civilisation", there is a price to pay. Yes, in the US, things are often done to excess. Even if the US toed the line, there still has to be a standard of living that is acceptable to most. I think most on BE would agree that we moved to the US to better ourselves. And I think most would say that they succeeded. So the standard of living is higher here. Which means higher emissions.

As an example, I bought an electric carving knife today for less than 6 dollars. Some chinese sweat shop produces thousands of these to satisfy the US consumer demand. They dont give a monkeys about emissions at the power station, because they are aiming for a price point to compete.

Its a spiral downwards, I agree. But since none of us wants to give up our airconditioned cars and consumer freedoms, nothing will happen.

My avatar shows my political feelings, but I dont see a way out of this, merely to arrest the decline. Which we are doing in Europe. And the US will follow, but is slower, and will be as long as mom and pop are driving their V8 6 litre Buicks. As the generation changes, then so will the emissions.

It wont be quick though. Not here.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Roadster280
My 2 cents:

"Global warming" should read "climate change". The UK is expecting its worst weather for years this winter. Its been ridiculously mild the last few. It's becoming unpredictable. Look at the hurricane season this year.

As for the causes, I agree that we should be reducing emissions. But at the end of the day, if we want "civilisation", there is a price to pay. Yes, in the US, things are often done to excess. Even if the US toed the line, there still has to be a standard of living that is acceptable to most. I think most on BE would agree that we moved to the US to better ourselves. And I think most would say that they succeeded. So the standard of living is higher here. Which means higher emissions.

As an example, I bought an electric carving knife today for less than 6 dollars. Some chinese sweat shop produces thousands of these to satisfy the US consumer demand. They dont give a monkeys about emissions at the power station, because they are aiming for a price point to compete.

Its a spiral downwards, I agree. But since none of us wants to give up our airconditioned cars and consumer freedoms, nothing will happen.

My avatar shows my political feelings, but I dont see a way out of this, merely to arrest the decline. Which we are doing in Europe. And the US will follow, but is slower, and will be as long as mom and pop are driving their V8 6 litre Buicks. As the generation changes, then so will the emissions.

It wont be quick though. Not here.
And they should be ashamed of themselves because of it. The US has some of the most amazing National Parks and wilderness areas. You would think that everyone who uses them would want to do whatever it takes to preserve them.
I certainly don't feel that I have bettered myself by coming here. I also avoid buying unnecessary electrical gadgets if I can and try to conserve energy where ever possible.
As I find myself saying more frequently, this country has huge potential to be a fine example to other countries.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Roadster280
My 2 cents:

"Global warming" should read "climate change". The UK is expecting its worst weather for years this winter. Its been ridiculously mild the last few. It's becoming unpredictable. Look at the hurricane season this year.

As for the causes, I agree that we should be reducing emissions. But at the end of the day, if we want "civilisation", there is a price to pay. Yes, in the US, things are often done to excess. Even if the US toed the line, there still has to be a standard of living that is acceptable to most. I think most on BE would agree that we moved to the US to better ourselves. And I think most would say that they succeeded. So the standard of living is higher here. Which means higher emissions.

As an example, I bought an electric carving knife today for less than 6 dollars. Some chinese sweat shop produces thousands of these to satisfy the US consumer demand. They dont give a monkeys about emissions at the power station, because they are aiming for a price point to compete.

Its a spiral downwards, I agree. But since none of us wants to give up our airconditioned cars and consumer freedoms, nothing will happen.

My avatar shows my political feelings, but I dont see a way out of this, merely to arrest the decline. Which we are doing in Europe. And the US will follow, but is slower, and will be as long as mom and pop are driving their V8 6 litre Buicks. As the generation changes, then so will the emissions.

It wont be quick though. Not here.
I agree, we all need to do something to avoid guzzling energy, which means pollution. I do miss having a washing line to dry my clothes on. I live in a mid-rise that lacks balconies.

But just a minor but important point, it is really Congress that has the power to join the U.S. to Kyoto ... even over a Presidential veto. If there was a simple majority vote in favor of Kyoto, America will be in Kyoto. If Congress is determined to do so, it can even overcome a Presidential veto, but Congress hasn't even had a simple up or down vote on Kyoto. Imho, the Administration doesn't favor Kyoto, but imho it is also true that the Congress, that must vote on it, does not favor Kyoto or Congress would have voted on it.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:34 pm
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I hope that you are correct, Roadster, and that time will bring some change in attitudes in the USA. I fear, though, that it might be too late.

I didn't come here to better myself. I came here because I married a US citizen. The jury is out as to whether I'm better off or not.

I agree with Chorlton - America is a breathtakingly beautiful country. Preservation/conservation should be high on the agenda.

I can't understand why re-cycling of newspapers is not more widely practiced. Probably because there's not enough profit in it!

I find that conserving energy just does not figure in the outlook here at all. Switching off lights in empty rooms, for instance- small things like that are just never considered. I was probably indoctrinated in the UK. In the offices where I worked we had notices all over the place "SWITCH OFF UNNECESSARY LIGHTS!"
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Dimsie
I hope that you are correct, Roadster, and that time will bring some change in attitudes in the USA. I fear, though, that it might be too late.

I didn't come here to better myself. I came here because I married a US citizen. The jury is out as to whether I'm better off or not.

I agree with Chorlton - America is a breathtakingly beautiful country. Preservation/conservation should be high on the agenda.

I can't understand why re-cycling of newspapers is not more widely practiced. Probably because there's not enough profit in it!

I find that conserving energy just does not figure in the outlook here at all. Switching off lights in empty rooms, for instance- small things like that are just never considered. I was probably indoctrinated in the UK. In the offices where I worked we had notices all over the place "SWITCH OFF UNNECESSARY LIGHTS!"
Exactly. My utilities are included in my rent, but I still went out and bought energy efficient light bulbs. With low heat output there is less heat for the a/c to get rid of. The saving in energy would be HUGE if most households bothered to switch to energy efficient lighting. Then there is the issue of drying clothes, which anyway wear out faster if tumbled dried; think of the coal fired power stations we could close down if people switched to using natural wind to dry clothing.

There is a tendency here to buy large SUVs and then drive them like bats out of hell. I have lost count of SUVs that are driven in an aggressive driving style. I had someone beep me (while I was slowing down for a red light), the driver overtook me aggressively only to brake hard to avoid going through the red light. There is no point in accelerating hard and braking hard, unless of course you really need too! It takes a lot of concentration to drive efficiently and arrive in good time, but once learnt, it really saves on the gas!

I've saw Tom Hanks shooting a scene in Chicago - I counted huge numbers of cars in the scene, were they all so necessary? The movie companies burn energy - with huge air conditioned studies and offices. Many movie stars have their own private jets, live in houses that are clearly not needed (but use lots of a/c), how energy efficient is all that? First class and/or VIP travel is not good enough for those with private jets, I guess.
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Old Nov 23rd 2005, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Earth to America

Another thought. I am making dinner. I have just put two empty tin cans in the trash. As I emptied the cans, I wanted to wash them out and put them in the recycling. I had my "UK head" on. Back in the UK, the bin capacity was so small that recycling was the only option if you wanted to avoid going to the tip on a weekly basis. Here, the bin is a) enormous. b) emptied twice a week c) doesnt matter if you put extra bags out.

I lived in Germany, in the Army about 10 yrs ago. If you put something in the "trash" that was recyclable, it was ~£1000 fine. 10 yrs ago!!. We had four bins, different colours for different recyclable materials, collected at varying frequencies through the month. It took some getting used to, but was excellent.

There's neither a carrot nor a stick here.
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Old Nov 24th 2005, 12:30 am
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Dimsie
I didn't come here to better myself. I came here because I married a US citizen. The jury is out as to whether I'm better off or not.
Same here.
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Old Nov 24th 2005, 12:36 am
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by elfman
Same here.
Fair enough. I love my girlfriend (a USC), so I hope in time I am with you there. But as for now (an L1A), I came here to better myself. Which I have, if measured materially. I couldn't provide for my children in the UK to anything like the same degree if I hadnt moved here.
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Old Nov 24th 2005, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by Roadster280
if measured materially.
While I have found it marginally easier to acquire certain material posessions here, I find I'm worse off in several intangible but important ways. The one that springs to mind is the fact that we get such shit vacation allowances here. There doesn't have to be an either/or choice when it comes to providing for your kids or having time to spend with them.

And on the original topic, you say there's no carrot or stick here with regard to recycling here - anyone who can think through the ultimate consequences of unfettered consumption shouldn't need any additional incentives to recycle or conserve.
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Old Nov 24th 2005, 12:54 am
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Default Re: Earth to America

Originally Posted by elfman
While I have found it marginally easier to acquire certain material posessions here, I find I'm worse off in several intangible but important ways. The one that springs to mind is the fact that we get such shit vacation allowances here. There doesn't have to be an either/or choice when it comes to providing for your kids or having time to spend with them.

And on the original topic, you say there's no carrot or stick here with regard to recycling here - anyone who can think through the ultimate consequences of unfettered consumption shouldn't need any additional incentives to recycle or conserve.
Not wishing to enter a war, but as an L-1 (i.e company transfer) I get the same T&Cs as the UK.

And as for the recycling, my city (the only garbage service allowed) doesn't allow the recycling of metal tins. I have no practical choice.

Im not against recycling, all for it. Did it years ago. I'm not against any eco friendly measures. Unfortunately, the US is "institutionally" against them. Not me. I am not about to take on the US!
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